You're about to buy a house in a rural neighborhood; it has a long dirt driveway between the garage and the road. You know you don't want to leave the driveway as dirt, but you're concerned about the cost of asphalt or concrete paving. Consider having the driveway paved with gravel by a residential landscaping company instead. This is an affordable way to provide some substance for your driveway, and it can be more attractive than you might think.
Advantages of Gravel Driveways
A primary advantage of the gravel driveway is the significant monetary savings over asphalt or concrete. Rural driveways can be rather long, which tends to make paving them too expensive for many homeowners.
Gravel allows you to avoid driving on mud during rainy conditions and when snow melts. You won't leave ruts in the driveway due to soggy ground.
In rural areas, gravel fits in perfectly with the rustic nature of the environment. If you choose a particular style and color rather than plain crushed stone, you can enhance the appearance of your property.
If your driveway has a relatively steep slope, gravel isn't a suitable option. It will roll downhill whenever anyone drives on it and during heavy rain.
Gravel driveways do require some maintenance. You'll need to occasionally touch up the texture with a rake, and you may need to rake some of the dispersed gravel from the grass back onto the driveway. If your driveway is snowplowed, you'll probably need to rake some gravel from the lawn in the spring, since some gravel will have been moved there by the plow.
Gravel Types Suitable for Driveways
Several types of landscaping gravel are common for driveway paving.
- Pea and river wash gravel are decorative and primarily available in tan and cream hues. Pea gravel is less than 1/2 inch in size, while river wash is around twice that size.
- Wash stone is a bit larger than river wash and is available in earthy colors such as tan and gray.
- With a bluish hue, bluestone gravel is also a relatively common choice for driveways.
These are just three examples. Depending on the landscaping service you choose, you may find these listed with slightly different names and with added options under the categories. Usually the websites have pictures so you can get a good sense of how the materials look. The more rounded and colorful the stones are, the higher the price generally is.
Keep in mind you don't want very smooth round stones that will easily roll away when vehicles drive on them.
Gravel driveways are not only functional, they can add to the lovely country look of the property. Contact landscaping services in your area for estimates on the length and width of your driveway.